William E. ‘Billy’ Strickland
GLENNVILLE — William “Billy” E. Strickland, 75, passed away Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at Glenvue Health and Rehabilitation Center in Glennville, Ga. He was born December 26, 1943, in Waycross to Raymond Matthew and Effie Driggers Strickland and lived in South Georgia all of his life. Strickland was retired from the pulpwood timber industry and a self-employed shrimper. Strickland was a loving caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was preceded in death by his mother, sister, Daisy Strickland, and brother, Mack Merritt. Strickland is survived by his wife, Martha Strickland of Hortense; his children, William “Billy” Strickland Jr., of Darien, Melody Strickland Wharton of Waverly, Fanny Maniza Strickland of Blackshear, Raymond Matthew Strickland of Hortense, Effie Nadine Strickland of Brunswick; his father, Raymond Matthew Strickland of Hortense; brothers, Jimmy Merritt of Massachusetts, Mack Merritt of Ohio; sisters, Mary Ann Merritt of New Hampshire, Karen Strickland of Atlanta, Sharon Grundy of St. Augustine, Fla., Amanda Stone of Jesup, Patricia Carter of Brunswick, Sarah McLeod of Blackshear; grandchildren, Raymond M. Strickland Jr., Tricia Cummings, Robert Wharton Jr., A’Kameo Barnes, Lance Waters, Dorothy Myers, Dusty Myers, Myla Waters, Nadia Jeffcoat, Caleb Gregg; 12 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. A celebration of life service was held Saturday, January 4, at Laura Walker State Park, Building No. 2 in Waycross. The care and service for William “Billy” E. Strickland is entrusted to Brannen Kennedy Funeral Home, of Glennville.

Leland Bennett
MILLWOOD — Leland Bennett, 95, passed away Friday, December 27, 2019, at the Hospice House Satilla following an extended illness. Bennett was a native and lifelong resident of Millwood. He was a lifetime farmer and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Pearson, Georgia. Bennett was a son of the late Elias Bennett and Henrietta Herrin Bennett. He was preceded in death by a son, Cleland Bennett. Bennett is survived by his wife, Luvell Bennett of Millwood; six children, Danny Bennett (Bonnie), Rose Cobb (Jimmy), Leila Thrift (Jackie), Lisa Bennett (Tamra), Ralph Bennett (Deborah) and Barbara Smith (Denny), all of Millwood; 17 grandchildren, Brianna Bennett, Lucinda Bennett, Danny Bennett Jr. (Tammy), Ben Bennett, Dawn Coffee (Craig), Stephen Dixon (Breanna), Rebecca Luke (Craig), Leigh Ann Greene (Earl), Scott Clark, Dana Bowen (Chad), Leanna Lewis (Garrett) Lashay Acorn (Stephen), Shelly Chapman (Greg), Blaine Bennett, Kimberly Long (David), Wendy White (John) and Scott Smith (Amy); several greatgrandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral was held Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed in Hargraves Cemetery in Millwood. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in his honor to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Georgia 31501. Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com Music Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Gwen Patrick O’Brien
WAYCROSS — Gwen Patrick O’Brien died Saturday, December 28, 2019. He was the son of the late Ben Philip O’Brien and Rubye Hotchkiss O’Brien of Lakeland, Ga. He was also preceded in death by his son, Shawn Patrick O’Brien. Survivors include his wife, Frances Little O’Brien; his daughter, Gwen Elizabeth “Beth” May; his son and daughter-in-law, Michael Seth “Mickey” and Lori O’Brien; and three grandchildren, Lauren Elizabeth May, Anna Marie May and Sean Michael O’Brien. A private graveside service for the family will be held at Oakland Cemetery with the Reverend Kit Brinson of Grace Episcopal Church officiating. Miles-Odum Funeral Home will be overseeing the sepulcher. Memorials may be sent to Grace Episcopal Church, Waycross, Georgia. Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com

Cindy Marie Jones Minix
WAYCROSS — Cindy Marie Jones Minix, 50, died Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at her residence after a brief illness. Mrs. Minix was a native and lifelong resident of Ware County. Most of her life she was a homemaker taking care of and raising her family, but she also was employed as a substitute teacher for the Ware County School System. Mrs. Minix was preceded in death by her father, Wendell Jones, her mother, Linda Sue Robertson Tice, and her sister, Melissa K. Jones. Survivors include her husband of 32 years, Wendell Thomas Minix of Waycross; four children, Wendell Thomas Minix Jr. (Brittany), Lena Marie Minix (Josh Beasley), Jordan Rene Flowers (Nathan) and Lindsey Lori Rios (Devon), all of Waycross; foster child, Amanda Gill (Joey) of Jacksonville, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Landon Eli Minix, Layton Easton Minix, Violet Hermone Beasley, Khloe Flowers, Savannah Flowers, Daniel Flowers, Walter Rios, and Elijah Rios; step-father, Tim Tice of Waycross; three siblings, Wendy Whitted (Doug) of Blackshear, Candice Tice of Waycross, and Tina Pine of Waycross; and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral was held Saturday, January 4, 2020, at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery. Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com

Marla Elizabeth Davis
BLACKSHEAR — Marla Elizabeth Davis, 36, of Blackshear, passed away Friday, January 3, 2020, at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside in Jacksonville, Fla., following a short illness. Born July 6, 1983, in Blackshear, Miss Davis was a lifelong resident of Pierce County. She graduated from Pierce County High School in 2001 and was an optometrist assistant at Seaside Ophthalmology in Waycross. She was a devoted member of Remnant Church where she worked with the kid’s ministry, Generation 2:9 Kidz, and served as a small group leader. Known for her beautiful smile and sweet spirit, she could light up any room she entered. She was a friend to all, and always had a smile, hug, or word of encouragement. Miss Davis was preceded in death by her father, Jeffery Cavin Davis; her paternal grandparents, H.M. and Margaret Davis; her maternal grandparents, Buck and Violet Dixon; and an uncle, Harley Davis. Survivors include her daughter, Jensi Grace Smith of Blackshear; fiancé, Josh Dwayne Corley and children, Ella, Emma and Brooks, all of Blackshear; mother and step-father, René and Jerome Bolden of Blackshear; sister, Holly Sweat of Blackshear; aunts and uncles, Al and Bevan Dixon of Blackshear, Lynn Davis Roberts of Blackshear, and Sharon Taylor of Waycross; nieces and nephews, Zach Sweat and Leigha Sweat, both of Blackshear; cousins, Jami Davis Carter of Blackshear, Sara Davis of St. Augustine, Fla., Seth Carter of Blackshear, Justin Roberts of Blackshear, Shawn Dixon of Atlanta, Bryce Dixon of Blackshear, and Adam Dixon of Blackshear; and many friends. A funeral was held Sunday, January 5, at First Baptist Church in Blackshear with Pastor Caleb Lancaster officiating. Burial followed in the Blackshear City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hope House of Remnant Church, a recovery home for women overcoming addiction, Hope House, In Memory of Marla Davis, 3205 Memorial Drive, Waycross, Georgia 31503 Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.hartfh.com Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear was in charge of arrangements.